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Issue #611 — June 9, 2010


Up Front

  • Tweet, Tweet
  • And the Winner Was …
  • This Summer, Comfort and Awards Will Both Be Scarce
  • Delta Cuts Some Frequent Flyer Fees but Ups Others
  • Continental Boosts Value of Frequent Flyer Credit Cards
  • From US Airways: More Frequent Flyer Miles for Shopping

On Site

  • FrequentFlier Forum Topics

Reader Rants & Raves

  • Feedback from the Frontlines of Travel

Sweeps & Freebies

  • Win a 7-Day South Pacific Cruise for 2

Steals & Deals

  • Deal Alert from

Up Front

Tweet, Tweet

Use this link to follow us on Twitter and stay abreast of the latest in frequent flyer program news, opinion, and advice.

And the Winner Was …

In last week’s newsletter, we included a note from a reader, TJ, who had won a million Marriott points, half a million airline miles, and $50,000 by entering a sweepstakes featured in our weekly “Sweeps & Freebies” section.

We thought he was the first and only winner in the nine years and 450 issues we’ve been covering travel sweepstakes. Apparently not.

There may be another possible sweepstakes winner among your readers! I think it was through the FrequentFlier Crier that I learned about and entered the Bermuda Tourism “Feel the Love” sweepstakes — as I always read that part of your newsletter!

They had 4 prizes, one of which was for a “family” entry; I entered an essay about a family wedding I’d attended there and won airline tickets for 4 from JetBlue and 5 days and the Fairmont Hamilton for my husband, daughter, son-in-law, grandson and myself. We bought one more airline ticket and had a most wonderful time. So if memory serves me right and you, indeed, published that contest information, your record is really 2 in 450! [T. Masington – Delaware]

So congrats to the Masington family. And to everyone else: Keep trying.

On Site

The FrequentFlier Forum – Hot Topics

As always, there’s plenty of activity on the FrequentFlier Forum.

In particular, there’s plenty of shared advice on earning more miles and points.

In the “Airline Programs” Forum, for example, Gary Steiger has info and a link to a an easy 100 Continental miles. And PolScrib shows how to earn two Southwest credits by signing up to receive the Rapid Rewards Report and the Rapid Rewards E-mail Update.

Questions, answers, opinions? Post them to the Forum!

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Reader Rants & Raves

Feedback from the Frontlines of Travel

We welcome reader feedback on issues related to travel generally and frequent flyer programs in particular. Please use this link to submit comments.

United Miles for SAS Flights

“In Response to Terry E. [in last week’s newsletter], during the last 25 years, I have many times booked United to ORD and then SAS to CPS and on to BGO, and rarely had any trouble with earning points on both airlines.

“However a couple of times it happened, and it was resolved by sending all boarding passes to United.

“I always keep my boarding passes until I am back in the U.S., and have been credited with my miles.” [Ketil R. – Indianapolis, IN]

Help, My American Miles Expired

“I haven’t been traveling very much in the last few years, but before I retired I was on the road much of the time and built up large mileage balances in several airline programs.

“Long story short, I went to cash in some of my American miles (I had more than 200,000 last I checked) and was informed that they had all disappeared. Expired is the word the agent used, although I think stolen is more like it.

“Apparently I had gone too long with no activity in my American account and the new rule is that the miles simply disappear after 18 months. I was never informed of this rule — it used to be three years I’m sure. And I received no notice that the expiration date was coming up.

“I’m extremely angry as you can imagine.

“Is there anything you can suggest? If it was just a few miles, I wouldn’t mind but to lose so many miles really hurts.” [Clark J.]

[ replies – American’s expiration policy is published on the airline’s website, and it is AAdvantage members’ responsibility to keep current with program rules and the status of their accounts. So your only recourse is to find a sympathetic customer service supervisor and throw yourself on his or her mercy. If there are any extenuating circumstances, by all means mention them. Alternatively, American allows members to reactivate their expired miles, for a price — $50 for every 5,000 miles, plus 7.5 percent excise tax and a $30 processing fee. So the cost to reactivate 200,000 miles would be a whopping $2,000 plus tax and processing fee. One word comes to mind: Ouch!]

Until next week…

Sweeps & Freebies

Win a 7-Day South Pacific Cruise for 2

Enter Paul Gaugin Cruises’ “Cruise Gaugin Giveaway” sweepstakes by June 30 for a chance to win a seven-day South Pacific cruise for two, including airline tickets to Tahiti.

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[Visit for more travel sweepstakes — Updated this week.]

Steals & Deals

Deal Alert from

1) U.S. and Caribbean Sale on JetBlue From $64 Each Way

Nab an affordable flight to Las Vegas, Orlando, New York City, Bermuda, and other popular destinations with this sale. Plus, American, Delta, United, and a few other carriers are adding some major competition on the sale routes.

Travel through mid-July, but book flights by Wednesday, June 16.

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2) China, Southeast Asia, and Vancouver on Cathay Pacific From $512

Visit Vancouver, China, India, Indonesia, Singapore, or Thailand with Cathay Pacific’s latest sale. Round-trip flights start at $512 to Vancouver and $971 to cities further afield.

Travel Dates: August 15 through August 31 or through November 30, depending on the route. Book fares by the end of June.

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